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Why It May Be Time to Sell Amazon

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- As much as Wall Street seems to love complaining about valuation, I continue to argue that sometimes valuation matters very little and the movement of stocks is more of a game of numbers than any scientific equation.

After all, what does science have to do with fear and greed, the two emotions that really drive stock prices?

This is especially true for a company such as Amazon (AMZN - Get Report), which remains in a neck-and-neck battle with Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) for technological supremacy.

Whether or not the company is winning depends on one's perspective. As it stands, in terms of reported sales there aren't many companies of Amazon's size that are producing the level of growth it has demonstrated.

As a result, the stock is up 40% for the year to date and more than 170% in the past three years. Bears that want to continue fighting the Amazon story do so at their peril. Although the company is (arguably) priced for perfection as seen by its price-to-earnings ratio of 200, Amazon continues to remind investors with its execution and new 52-week highs that avoiding the stock at any level presents the greater risk. But the question is, for how long?

In its most recent quarter, the company reported 1 cent per share on revenue of $12.83 billion, falling in line with analysts' expectations. However, while revenue soared by almost 30%, earnings per share fell dramatically by 97% year over year.

But over the past five quarters Amazon has logged an average of 38.5% revenue growth while net income has dropped by an average of 54% annually during that same span. Should that be cause for concern? Perhaps, and perhaps not.

It seems that these figures have not gone unnoticed by some analysts. Average estimates for the third quarter continue to fall, from 24 cents per share to (now) 12 cents.

For a company that has had to execute to perfection to maintain its lofty valuation, there is now growing pessimism it will be able to sustain growth expectations I have considered grossly absurd.
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AMZN $661.90 0.43%
AAPL $92.09 -1.20%
FB $118.42 0.52%
GOOG $705.97 0.65%
TSLA $212.28 0.35%


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